Forum: HASA Birthday Cards Forum

Discussing: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Hello, all you birthday folk and birthday drabblers! September is around the corner, and I hereby declare the Birthday Challenge open for business.

If you have a September birthday, please post your request.

Birthday folk, please visit the HASA Birthday Cards workshop, put your story in it, and enter the September challenge.

If you have questions, please ask.

Gandalfs apprentice

*************************

September 15, Linda Hoyland: I like friendship stories about Aragorn, with Faramir, Eomer or the Hobbits, or stories about Aragorn and Arwen and their young children. I dislike slash or bad language.

September 18, Haldirriel: This new HASA member would like a tale about her love, Legolas, or Haldir.

September 30, Gandalfs apprentice: As anyone could have guessed, I want Aragorn. Show me Aragorn in a state of emotion, be it anger, love, fear, hope (or any other emotion that interests you), at any time in his life. Extra points if you can include Gandalf, Denethor or Bilbo, but Aragorn alone or with any other character is also fine. Sex great too, het or slash, as you prefer.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Hi, Linda:

As I know you are a fan of Theme and Variations, I thought you might enjoy a little preview of a sequel I mean to write one of these days. Here it is: I think it fits your request for a story about Aragorn and friendship with Hobbits.

--Gandalfs apprentice

At the Pig and Thistle

Once he got used to it, Pippin enjoyed being a Guardsman again, now that he had recovered from his wounds. True, he had a lot of work to do, but he looked forward to merriment in the pubs at night, for the City was vigorously celebrating the downfall of Sauron and the crowning of the new King. And now that Strider was in the City, Pippin found that his reputation as one of the Nine Walkers and a personal friend of Elessar opened hearts and doors.

"It's not that I've made up my mind about him, you realize," said the barkeep at his favorite pub, the Pig and Thistle, where the ale was almost as good as at the Green Dragon. "We haven't had a king for some thousand years, and nobody ever thought it would be any different. True, he's done some wonderful things, and not just swinging that magic sword—he saved my sister's grandson's life. For that he has my allegiance."

Taking a big slurp of ale, Pippin wiped his mouth and nodded.

"But I learned a long time ago that it takes more than a fancy title to make a true nobleman. Why, the greatest man I've ever known didn't have any title at all. He was a stranger to the City. I served under him in those years, before an Orc's blade ruined my leg and ended my days as a soldier. This captain would sleep on the ground with his men and eat our food—nothing special for him, always the same that his men had—even if he'd earned honors from the Steward for all his victories. He didn't hold himself our better, but he was a great leader and a true lord, and no title made him that. He'd look at you with those grave eyes of his and you knew you would do your best. He trusted us and we trusted him."

"I see," said Pippin. "And who was he?"

"Nobody really knew. He had no father-name. But he could have taken the measure of this new King, and I'd have trusted his opinion, no matter what. He was bold and courageous, too. He led a fleet against those corsairs and beat them, and he didn't need any ghosts to help. We called him Thorongil, and it was a sorry day in Gondor when he left."

"Er," said Pippin, who had recently learned that his friend Strider had a remarkable past, "I think you're in for a surprise."

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Great little vignette; I can't wait to read more of the story.  There will be a lot of  surprised and delighted people in Gondor when the news comes out about the new King's many names.

You write Pippin very well, btw!

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Plenty of career military types, not to mention some nobility, would recognize and welcome ol' Captain Thorongil.  This would go a long way toward popular acceptance of War Leader Aragorn and, more importanly, King Elessar.

Anyway, I just love this type of thing, where you know the shock the barkeep is in for...

Once again, G.A., very well done.  I'm looking forward to the T & V sequel, too.

DW

"swinging that magic sword" hahaha

 

 

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

I tried to write this as a ficlet, truly I did.  But Faramir and Aragorn wanted to do history lessons, and Elboron had a lot to say, and then there's...

Well, it's over 2000 words.  Here's a link.  It's still in Beta, and needs polishing:  I hope the link works.

http://www.henneth-annun.net/members/stories/chapter.cfm?stid=6364

RAKSHA THE DEMON

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

I'm a big fan of Theme and Variations too and this worked well for me in that context. The tone is perfect.
Really liked the line: "True, he's done some wonderful things, and not just swinging that magic sword—he saved my sister's grandson's life." Can't top that! Very real world politics there--it's not just the high and lofty things that people remember.
Oshun

 

 

Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

Thanks, everyone, for your words of praise for "At the Pig and Thistle." This conversation has been rattling around in my head for a while, and it was nice to have an excuse to make it live! 

Nice piece, Raksha. I enjoyed the generational parallel of Steward and King. Are you meaning to show Eldarion with early language abilities here, in the Elven way?

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

Thanx for reading and commenting, G.A.  I definitely meant there to be generational parallels between the Steward and the King and their sons.

I don't really remember what has been said, outside of LOTR, on the relative development of human and Elven children.  Since Eldarion is the son of a Numenorean human (a type of human with unusual physical and mental characteristics) father and a mostly-Elf mother, I figure I can advance him a month or two, but I wasn't trying to make him a complete prodigy.  He wasn't quite pinpointing "tree" by saying  "galadh", he had just heard the word galadh in the book that Aragorn was reading (which was in Sindarin) in the context of 'Tree', and I think he picked up on the tones of reverence and significance in his father and Faramir's voices.  But Eldarion also identified the fruits as "galadh", so he isn't quite specific on the correspondence.  I don't know if he can read the hearts of Men, you'd have to ask him. 

I just hope the whole thing wasn't too fluffy, and Elboron credible for a six-year-old.  I can always move Eldarion's age up by a month, and make Elboron a year older, since the piece isn't final yet...

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

This is delightful. Thank you for gramting me this sneak preview. I can hardly wait to read the rest !

 

 

Re: Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

THank you so much, Raksha, this is a beautiful story !

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Linda:

I'm happy you enjoyed reading it--I enjoyed writing it!

***dons HASA Birthday Challenges hat***

Don't forget to set up your birthday story (in "My Stuff"), post it in the HASA Birthday Cards workshop and enter it in the September Challenge. If you have any questions, contact me.

G.A.

 

 

Re: Happy birthday, Linda

Thank you so much, this is very moving. I could just imagine, Aragorn and Eomer having this conversation.

I had a lovely birthday weekend thank you.


Good!

I'm thinking of creating a private page on my blog for my birthday gifts.Please may I add this to it?

Ah, you'll have to ask Éomer about that. He stood over me and insisted the title was wasted on something with so ambiguous a pronoun and that he had a better idea, and, um, I don't say 'no' when that happens even if Aragorn only appears recently in absentia... big blond warrior muses are sort of a law unto themselves.


So, if you'll accept a substitution, you're welcome to put this one up while I go hide with the other and perhaps get it to work better, even if it *does* take more than 100 words. Happy birthday again, and for triple the fun...

Dwim

Following for Fellowship (redux)

"You've given Eastfold to the Worm!"

Éomer had ever relied upon Éothain to spare his captain nothing, and his lieutenant's mood was black indeed as he wheeled his mount to stand nose to tail with Firefoot and looked his Marshal full in the face. "For three strangers on a fool's errand, you've given us to Wormtongue!" he snarled, disbelieving.

Éomer sighed. They fought like bears, he and Éothain, like berserkers—for the needful joy of it, and no bitterness ever to last between them.

But in uncertain times, even such settled friendship must sometimes give way: to faith that was perhaps betrayal. Perhaps. Are you one for such company, Aragorn? He knew his mind, clear as Aragorn's challenge to him, and ah! My heart sang to hear it, the more so to answer it!

Thus: "Then if you're right, watch over Éowyn. But bide this while with me in hope."

Éothain snorted, looked a long moment away ere he faced him once more. "Not in hope, Éomundsson, not the barest moment, but I will follow you for fellowship far beyond hope—that I swear." And his expression softened as he added, in a lower voice, "And I'll see her safe, no fear."

"Then truly, I have none." 'Twas a lie—evidently so, but a good one, so Éothain sighed and said:

"The king awaits. We should ride."

Aye, they should, and Éomer signaled the men to fall out. But even as they took their places at the head of the column, Éomer glanced back towards Fangorn and felt his chest ache with fierce elation—premature, perhaps, yet irrepressible. For you're wrong, Éothain, my friend, the king waits not in Gríma's hall—he rides the land, and he'll come for us. You'll come, Aragorn, and then let the Worm beware!

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Dwim said over in the other thread:

All right, somebody else have a birthday and ask for... I don't know... Trees! Water spirits! Hobbit mpreg! Or better yet: Water spirits getting it on with same-sex trees and having furry-footed children, because I don't get those nuzgul and so it's like instant immunity to nuzgul bites.

And you know, jokes like this are fun until someone gets really badl by the nuzgul. There is no mpreg, but the rest of that joke prompt actually spurred a semi-serious story. Check it out if you would like:

"Come Back to Me"

I'll gladly take any comments. Probably best to do that over at me my forum.

I hope it is appropriate to promote a longer story like this here. As it came out of a tongue-in-cheek suggestion of this forum I thought people here might be interested. If not, feel free to ignore. :-)

Marta

 

 

Re: Happy birthday, Linda

This is just great, Thank you. I love the way that Eomer thinks of Aragorn immediately as "the King".

 

 

Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

September 30, Gandalfs apprentice: As anyone could have guessed, I want Aragorn. Show me Aragorn in a state of emotion, be it anger, love, fear, hope (or any other emotion that interests you), at any time in his life. Extra points if you can include Gandalf, Denethor or Bilbo, but Aragorn alone or with any other character is also fine. Sex great too, het or slash, as you prefer.

Well, this tale occurred to me after I wrote the piece with Aragorn and Arwen's angsty farewell.  This one's a bit different.  So here it is, 700 words - Hope you have a better day than Aragorn did here. 

In Some Dark Place

 

 

Aragorn could not stop shaking.

He was safe now, riding behind Halbarad on the broad back of his kinsman's sturdy mare, within the protected bounds of Imladris, in daylight. Soon they would reach the house of Elrond, and be welcomed with food and care, warm soft beds where they could sleep in peace.

The Riders had found him just last night, alone on a wooded hill high above a creek. Only three Riders had attacked, which was probably why he still lived today. He was Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Heir of Isildur, Chieftain of the Dúnedain, rightful King of Gondor, and though he had weathered skirmishes with Orcs and even a few trolls, known the sharp tang of battle-alert, he had never felt terror until the wraiths had appeared, dark shapes barely divisible from the night that cloaked them. Their chill had frozen the very breath in his lungs. He had forced himself to move, to duck and roll and hurl firebrands at them as he fled. He had known the hillside well, the wraiths had not. He had run, dodged like a hare between rock and tree, finally reached the stream and stumbled through the current.

But he might well have died from the fear they brought, his heart hammering as if to break his chest-wall, if not for Halbarad. His kinsman had come early to their meeting, and heard his cries, seen the light of the brands he had thrown, and rode round and round in the dark trying to find him, until Aragorn had staggered out of the water and collapsed in Halbarad's very path. Halbarad had pulled him up and borne him away on the fleet-footed mare. The wraiths had lost two horses, and the one they had left could not bear them all with sufficient haste to catch her.

Aragorn let out a deep, shuddering breath. He was grateful that it was Halbarad, friend as well as kinsman, who was with him now. Halbarad would not reveal how the fear still, shamefully, gripped him. Hopefully, Halbarad had not noticed that Aragorn had messed himself like a lad in a first battle. Perhaps it had happened when the foremost wraith had advanced, reached out for him with night-shrouded gauntleted hands. The water had soaked Aragorn so thoroughly that the smell must have lessened by now. And the mare, whose nose was better than Halbarad's, did not care.

"Easy now, Aragorn" Halbarad said. "See, they are opening the gates. We'll sleep soundly tonight, eh?"

"For sure," he answered wearily, and forced himself to sit up straight, clasping the other's shoulder as the only show of gratitude he could manage for now.

Aragorn could not bear to say what frightened him the most. He had escaped the Riders of Shadow, by luck and Halbarad's aid and the mare's good speed. But what still set his heart a-racing and his hands to unmanly trembling was the certainty that sometime, somewhere, he would have to face the Riders again.

_________________________________________________________________

'…They will come on you in the wild, in some dark place where there is no help. Do you wish them to find you? They are terrible!'

The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that his face was drawn as if with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair. The room was very quiet and still, and the light seemed to have grown dim. For a while he sat with unseeing eyes as if walking in distant memory or listening to sounds in the Night far away.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 10: Strider

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

That was great, Raksha. I always wondered about the scene in the PP. You captured it so well.

~Vilwarin

 

 

Happy birthday both of you!

OK, this is long, long, LONG, like a page and a half.  I think it might fit both requests, so if you guys don't mind sharing a fic.

-----

These Dreams by Mar'isu 9/16/2006

It was late, Aragorn thought as he sought the comfort of his bed.  Leaving his office, King Elessar used the quite walk to his chambers to reflect on the day.  Gondor was starting to run smoothly now that her King had stepped foreword to claim the throne.  There had been surprisingly little fuss over Faramir returning the reigns of command to Isildur's heir.

            Or perhaps more fuss than he was led to believe, he thought as he saw the firelight creeping under the door of the study Faramir had claimed for his own.  Nudging the partially open door further into the room, Aragon looked first to the desk.  The young Steward took his duties too seriously in the King's opinion, and it would be in the boy's nature to shoulder a heavier burden than was wise simply because he refused to deny any request brought to him.  The large, imposing stone block was painfully neat, with a single pile of well-stacked sheets of parchment and an orderly pyramid of scrolls bearing the seal of the house of Mardil.  Scrolls and parchment alike bore small, careful rows of script from the quill pen that also rested on the desk.  But Faramir was not behind the desk.

            Puzzled, Aragorn stepped into the room.  The fire in the hearth threw his shadow on the wall behind him, where it mingled with another shadow.  Faramir sat staring into the fire, so caught up in his thoughts that he did not hear the erstwhile Ranger creep into the room.  "It is late, Faramir, rest," Aragorn instructed.

            The Steward jumped and turned slightly to see who was also awake at this hour.  Seeing who had intruded upon his thoughts, the young man scrambled to his feet.  "My lord," he greeted in a rush, as if to make up for the neglect that allowed the King to enter his study without being properly hailed.  "What do you wish?"

Aragorn smiled at Faramir's eagerness.  "I wish my Steward would not wear himself out."  Seeing Faramir's uneasy shifting, Elessar moved quickly to reassure his friend.  "As I said, it is late.  Why are you still here?  What so weighs on your heart that you do not seek sleep?"

Faramir dropped his eyes.  He did not want to think about the reason he was afraid to fall asleep.  His dreams when the Black Breath lay upon him had not diminished. If anything, he saw more and more clearly with each repetition.  "It is nothing, my lord."

Aragorn caught the Steward's chin as Faramir attempted to lower his face and looked into the young man's eyes.  "It is not nothing," he stated.  "What do you see?"

Sighing, Faramir reluctantly began to remember his dreams.  "A black wave, sweeping over the land.  Three ships, limping into port.  Seven stars, seven stones and one white tree."  Faramir met the King's eyes which were wide with amazement.  "I should not see these things, my lord.  Every night, I live the life of another, and always the wave comes."

"The Akallabeth," Aragorn whispered.  "The breaking of the world, when all paths were bent."  The King shook his head.  "You see what few of even the Kings have seen.  You see Númenor-that-was."  The blood of Númenor ran nearly pure in Faramir, a trick of fate, perhaps a gift of his Dol Amroth heritage.

"I do not wish to see it!" Faramir cried.  "I close my eyes for a moment and I die again.  I cannot be your Steward, my lord, if even my mind conspires to betray me."  The young man turned away, fighting the tears that threatened to unman him before his liege.

"Then do not be my Steward," Aragorn offered reasonably.  Faramir gave a start and turned around forgetting the moisture on his face in the wake of the King's shocking statement.  Seeing that he had the young man's attention, Aragorn continued, "Faramir, son of Denethor, you have been through more than many men twice your age.  If you cannot fulfill your duties as Steward, lay them aside for a moment."

"But, my lord-" Faramir began to protest, but was quickly cut off.

"In this I am not your lord.  I do not want a Steward, Faramir."  Here the young man hung his head, assured that he was still as useless as ever.  "I want a friend."  Faramir's head snapped up, his eyes wide and unsure.  Aragorn pressed on.  "You are your own man, Faramir.  As a friend, I counsel you to speak with myself or Gandalf about these dreams.  They cannot be allowed to continue as they have.  As your King, I say that I would rather lose my Steward for as long as it takes to get him back whole than to lose him because he did not seek aid when he needed it."

Dazed, Faramir sank into the chair he had recently vacated.  Was it possible?  Could he truly open up to the Ki- Elessar, he sternly ordered himself to call the King by name.  Letting his head fall into his hands, he stared at the fire through a curtain of raven hair, feeling all the while, the steady presence of the man behind him.  The man who offered friendship when none was necessary.  Searching the flames for answers, he began to talk.

"The land is beautiful, but empty and sad.  Like the air in a room that has been closed for the winter.  Always, I am some citizen, living a peaceful life . . ."

----

Reading over, maybe not a really great Aragorn, but that's what I've got.  the title comes from the song of the same title.  I was listening to it and I just saw Faramir brooding over the dreams he seems to have fairly frequently.

Hope you have fun,

Mar'isu

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

Raksha:

This is chilling! Thank you for a second gift!

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Happy birthday both of you!

Mar'isu:

It's Aragorn in a quiet and sympathetic mood--thank you!

I've got a birthday story set up in the workshop, so please add it there!

G.A. 

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

From the 1st thread...

Linda:
Thank you so much, this was just beautiful and I could imagine this scene happening.Although I know little about them and haven't sat on one since I was a child, I love horses.

I'm glad I found a subject you liked!

How about "Fit for a king" as a title?

Good idea - yes, I'll take this one ;). Thank you!

I'm thinking of creating a private page on my blog for my birthday gifts.Please may I add this to it?

Please feel free!

Gandalf's Apprentice:
Nice moment of friendship between the three, Imhiriel--certainly a love of horses was something they all shared.

Thank you!

Imhiriel

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

You have truly made good use of the passages you found in the books, Raksha!

Before The Ring Went South

This is a scene that has always moved me, and you certainly added to that.

In Some Dark Place

I had never before asked myself why Aragorn reacted so strongly. It makes sense that he would have had a personal encounter with wraiths before, one that frightened him very much, indeed.

Imhiriel

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

A new member, Loselleth, has her birthday today. I'm late in bringing it to your attention. She doesn't know about this birthday forum - so I'm going to tell her to come over and take a look.

Might someone write a little tale about her love, Legolas? Or perhaps something about Haldir?

Agape

 

 

Re: Happy birthday both of you!

I just loved this,thank you. I greatly enjoy stories of Aragorn being a kindly father figure to Faramir and this is the kind of story I love to write as well as read,thank you so much.

Please may I add it to the private page I'm making?

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

I've put in on my page, thank you for letting me keep it !

Linda

 

 

Re: Happy birthday both of you!

Sure, no problem, you can have it, it's your birthday present after all.  if you set up a birthday story in the Workshop, I'll post it there as well.

Mar'isu

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, for G.A.

This drabble got a little off hand - it mutated to a 1,400 words story

But is has angsty slash sex. Anyway, here is the link.

Short encounter

~Vilwrin

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

September 30, Gandalfs apprentice: As anyone could have guessed, I want Aragorn. Show me Aragorn in a state of emotion, be it anger, love, fear, hope (or any other emotion that interests you), at any time in his life.

 
Ya know, if people keep writing you such long 'drabbles' you are going to get such a swollen head, there will be no bearing it!   Apparently you managed to push just the right hot buttons with many authors!
 
Far be it from me to break the trend!  Since 12 is a very Tolkien-ish number, I thought it would be a nice conceit to make this exactly 12 drabbles.

It's a lot more angsty than I usually manage, and is rated 'mature' for violence.  It seems odd to say, "Happy Birthday! Here's a nice bit of fear and terror to make your day cheerier" but that's what you get when you don't specify 'happy' emotions! 

Fell Memories

The hobbits looked at him, and saw with surprise that his face was drawn as if with pain, and his hands clenched the arms of his chair.
     Strider, The Fellowship of the Ring



Pain. Ribs crack. Aragorn wakes groping for his knife and sees steel-toed boots swinging down again. His chest frozen, he cannot breathe. He rolls. A blow to his head leaves his ears ringing. Orc grunts and howls of triumph sound from all sides.  He flails, trying to ward off the blows buffeting him, hard fists and harder boots pummeling in left and right.  His vision tunnels as his starved lungs still futilely attempt to suck in air.  Fool. Fool!  Eleven days tracking Nazgûl, short of sleep and rations, is a poor excuse for sleeping hard and careless. The world fades.

~~~

Body throbbing, mind blank, breaths shallow, he jogs between the jostling herd of orcs and the three dark, ominous figures that lead the way.  The pace is quick. Every stride he needs more air. His ribs stab, sharp. He gasps when he must. Not enough, but it will have to do.  He shivers as chill sweat coats his back.  Hands bound behind him twist his shoulders at an unnatural angle, and they begin to ache and burn. Thirst torments him, thickening the back of his tongue.  Woozy, he refuses to fall, jogging on and on through the pale moonlit night.

~~~


Dawn rips the sky in the colors of blood.  They allow him to fall, cheek resting against cold gravel that strays away from the bed of a sluggish stream.  When his shudders quiet, he works his way up to sit, gritting his teeth against the pain.

"Untie my hands.  I will not try to escape." He speaks quietly, trying to keep his dignity.

"Why?" The orcs gather around at his temerity.

"I'm thirsty. I need to relieve myself."

The largest orc's face twists into what might be glee.  "Piss, then."

A blow between his shoulder blades stuns him. He falls.

~~~

The wearisome day crawls.  Pain breaks his sleep in any position.  Water within reach, but swift kicks punish him every time he tries to move.

The smallest orc wanders out and stares at him, sniffing the air.  He stinks.

"Piss, piss," the orc chants.  Opening his pants, the orc sends a noxious stream onto his face.  Blinking against the sting and trying not to gasp in the fumes, he struggles to turn away.  A booted heel forces him flat, renewing the flare of agony in his side and shoulders.  He is held down until they have all finished.  They laugh.

~~~

"Who are you?"


Aragorn squints up, foul mud crusting his eyes and choking his nose.  A single dark presence looms, pressing against his thoughts.

"Who are you?"

Chanting the Lay of Luthien through thirst-thickened lips and tongue, he pays attention to grammar and accent. It is a long poem. 

"Who are you?"

Unfathomable, aching time passes.  The three press him now.  The sun sets behind the Darkness and faint stars glimmer.  He mind repeats over and over, for his tongue has long since ceased to form words,

… light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.


~~~

Another night stumbling north, pain lancing his side with every step.  He trips crossing a stream and lands face down, gulping grit and mud along with blessed, frigid water.  Not enough. He is hauled out, thirst unslaked.

His steps flag and falter. Orcs crowd close behind, prodding him with fist and spear.  Dol Guldur is only one more night's march, and they are eager to be home, regaling themselves with treats of torture to come.  Darkness and despair flow ahead. 

Anduin, flooded with snowmelt, sounds a muted roar far to the left.  He can no longer feel his hands. 

Dawn. 

~~~


They circle him, and he is, almost, naked to their gaze.  Despair pours off them, echoing what he has long known.  He is worthless, unworthy.  He made too many mistakes; lost Gondor, lost all.  Love and eminence elude him.  Still, he remembers stars and beauty, and…

"Who?"

Overwhelming waves of hate pound over and around him. Every one seeks advantage, power. They will give him what he wants most, if only…

…light of stars was in her hair


Primal screams rip the air. Bitter blood sprays his face and the pressure eases as orcs slash and stab, killing each other.

~~~

They have withdrawn, away from the carnage they unwittingly incited.  Most orcs lie dead.  The remaining few, wounds bound, stay sullenly apart, giving suspicious glares and growls until they succumb to sleep.

Aragorn squirms, positioning his wrists along the blade of the knife beneath him.  He saws frantically, wrenching his elbows up, down and sideways, until the ropes part.  Furtive glances assure him he is still overlooked.  Drawing his hands forward, he sees cold, waxy sausages, wrists sluggishly oozing blood.  Flopping one hand on the knife, he wills his fingers to close.  Nothing.  Finally, they move, but will not grasp.

~~~

He stares long at the knife, then tucks his limp, bleeding hands under his arms and moves silently away from the makeshift camp.  Lightheaded, he heads west, and the roar of the river grows louder. Or perhaps it is the roar in his ears. His guts cramp and he shakes as he runs.  His hands tingle, then burn, then throb as if they were being forged anew in Aulë's furnace.  For all his mind's insistence that he must run - run! – he spends time unknowable huddled in the dry, winter grasses, teeth clenched over moans that escape in near-soundless breathy puffs.

~~~

The swollen river stops him as he stumbles down the bank. He drinks and drinks, until it spews out again, and he lays shivering half in and half out of the water.  His wrists show black, fingers an ugly, bloated purple in the dying light. They move sluggishly to his commands, but they move. 

There is a howl behind him; wolf, or warg, or thwarted orc.  He casts himself into the river, aiming for a branch that floats with the current just out of reach.  Spluttering water, he hooks his elbows over it, and kicks feebly for the other shore.

~~~

He drags himself up the rocky shale of what he hopes is the western shore. Clouds obscure the stars. The water gleams faintly.  Icy wind bites into his sodden clothes. Teeth chattering, he burns, but there is a frozen core within his chest that will not melt. He feels smirched with more than orcish filth, and not all of Anduin has sufficed to wash him clean. 

There is nowhere left for him to go.  The north is safer without him.  He has ruined any chance that Denethor would trust him.  He knows now he cannot thwart Sauron's plans working alone.

~~~

The dawn sky lightens and he drags himself upright, hand over hand on a sapling, grunting as pain shoots along his side, and lurches away from the rising sun.  The bare branches rustle over his head as he trudges west.  West a little, then north; it will be a long walk to… Rivendell.  He has no home.

Putting one foot in front of the other is all he can do.  One hand wrapped protectively around his chest, he staggers into a clearing roofed in gold, into arrows nocked and threatening.

Elves.  Safety.  "May I rest here?  I am so weary."


Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

It's not my fault!  The server SAID it had timed out and not posted!  I had to hit 'post' again -  honest! -  just to get the screen to move on.

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Ack!  I have no clue why this posted three times! Sorry.

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Gwynnyd

As I've already said elsewhere, this is AWESOME! Intense, so terrifying, and then such hope and beauty at the end. Thank you so much!

I promise not to get a swelled head if you all keep on writing.....

G.A. 

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Oh, Gwynnyd, that was extraordinary! It made me shudder.

I promise not to get a swelled head if you all keep on writing.....

Ah, yes and you will go down into HASA history as the lady with the most birthday drabbles no, I cannot use that now, let us settle for short stories. Seems we do all follow Dwim's lead. My drabble muse seems to have taken a holiday.

And I still have to come up with something for Linda...

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Vilwarin - The angsty slash A/H story was well written; with a sense of two men whose love must always be hidden and and rarely expressed.  Poor Aragorn; at least Halbarad has a family...

Marisu- I always enjoy stories of Aragorn and Faramir, especially where Aragorn shows his appreciation of his hard-working Steward.  Nice work.

Dwim - good Eomer story, with a wonderful last line.  Grima will get his, oh yes!

Gwynydd - a raw, visceral tale of torment, terror, and Aragorn's sheer grit.  Makes me want to go hunt some orc!

Marta - points for originality in your Fimbrethil/Goldberry story, and good description too.

Imhiriel - I don't think I mentioned it, but I liked your Fit For A King piece, with Aragorn, Faramir and Eomer admiring the mearh - and a nice recognition of Faramir's skill with horse in that the stallion responds to him and comes over to great the men.

RAKSHA

 

 

Happy Birthday, Gandalf's Apprentice!

Sorry, don't know what happened there with the post...anyway, here's Thorongil for ya! Hope you have a great day!

Challenged

Thorongil was wary of the whole notion, though every other man seemed content and even comfortable, including Imrahil. Protesting would change nothing about the situation.

You are being ridiculous - it cannot be that difficult. You have slept in a tree!

Thorongil studied the contraption, remembering how he had seen the other men manage. They backed into it, as if sitting in a chair. None of them climbed into it as one would a bed.

There was nothing else for it – he could hardly sleep on the deck. Resigned, he approached the hammock, and gingerly lowered himself toward the canvas.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Looks like the spirit o' the day got to me!
Faramir's not actually here, but he's the driving force behind what's going on, if that counts.  Hope you had a great birthday!

Role Playing

"Ada, ada!" Eldarion ran up to his father. "Listen!" He then rattled off a string of words that were not only foreign, but wholly incomprehensible in the boy's excitement.  "Elboron's ada taught me! It means…" he screwed up his face in thought, "It means 'toss him overboard'!"

" 'Toss him overboard'?" Aragorn repeated, mystified. "Why ever would Elboron's ada need to teach you such a phrase?"

"He was the Corsairs,"  Eldarion revealed with a grin, "and he was going to throw me and Elboron into the sea and make us swim home! But he couldn't, because I was Thorongil and Elboron was Prince Imrahil and the Corsairs didn't win!"

Aragorn laughed aloud, and lifted his son into his arms. "They did not," he agreed. "Come, show me the scene of your battle. Perhaps Elboron's ada would like another Corsair to help him fight you two mighty warriors."

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Gandalf's Apprentice!

EdorasLass

Thank you, that is delightful! The great captain Thorongil brought low by a hammock! And your small tale about the boys playing corsairs is enchanting. Thank you!

I've got a birthday story set up in the workshop, so please add yours any time!

Thanks,

G.A.

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Hadn't had a chance to sit down with this one, but what great fun! A worthy promissory note on the follow up to "Theme and Variations," G.A. Perfect last line, reminiscent of the conversation between the hobbits and Butterbur in Bree, though here it's ignorance not perpetual forgetting/disconnect that sets Aragorn up against an image of himself, essentially.

And like others, I also liked the fact that the stay of skepticism and willingness to give Elessar a chance derives from the fact that he did not simply concern himself with the destructive work of battle and the 'big picture' but took time to heal individual people, who were not royal or lordly, but simply soldiers who needed help.

Dwim

 

 

Re: Happy birthday, Linda

This is just great, Thank you.

You're welcome!

I love the way that Eomer thinks of Aragorn immediately as "the King".

That was fun; Eomer I think clearly recognizes the story of Isildur and so would immediately make the connection. But I think, too, he also would feel in the sort of challenge and response between Aragorn and himself a relationship to a kingly nature, ergo...

Dwim

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

In Some Dark Place

Ooh, and another one aiming at that favorite place for speculation--when and how did Aragorn encounter the wraiths, so that he could speak that line in FoTR?

Nicely ambiguous in terms of timing, and also a good depiction of the effect of wraith-terror, even on someone well accustomed to facing fear. And a very chilling last line!

Dwim

 

 

Re: Happy birthday both of you!

These Dreams

Faramir and his dreams--poor man just does not get any peace! Somehow, it seems worse that in the dream he starts out as just an ordinary person, free of crushing responsibilities, in a beautiful place, only to see destruction rise up and be utterly helpless on every level to deal with it.

What is it about Aragorn that bothers you? Is it that he seems maybe too familiar when Faramir is still sort of holding him off with the king-steward relationship? I"m just curious; I might say he could be a little... hm... sterner or less relaxed, I guess--groping for words and not finding the one I want, grrr--but I wouldn't say it's a huge issue. More a matter of degree, perhaps, assuming I'm even on target in guessing what's at issue in your judgment.

Dwim

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Edoras Lass - two wonderful drabbles!  The image of the mighty Captain Thorongil stymied by the concept of sleeping in a hammock is funny and well-depicted...And Role Playing,with little Eldarion and Elboron playing Thorongil & Imrahil against Corsair-Faramir - marvelous.  Of course Faramir would use accurate Corsair lingo!  And Aragorn's joining the game, excellent!

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, G.A. - another ficlet!!!

In Some Dark Place

Ooh, and another one aiming at that favorite place for speculation--when and how did Aragorn encounter the wraiths, so that he could speak that line in FoTR?

Nicely ambiguous in terms of timing, and also a good depiction of the effect of wraith-terror, even on someone well accustomed to facing fear. And a very chilling last line!

Thanx, Dwim!  So glad you liked the piece; and especially that you noticed the last line.  I often have difficulty with endings, so I was glad to have that line appear easily in my head for once. 

RAKSHA

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

There has been a glut of truly wonderful stories given as presents lately!   I have been enjoying reading all of them, especially, as another Aragorn fancier, G.A.'s presents. <happy sigh>

Raksha, I swear I was already working on my ficlet when you posted yours!  I loved yours - so much more optimistic than mine.

Bravo! to everyone 

 Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Happy birthday both of you!

Dwim-

Somehow, it seems worse that in the dream he starts out as just an ordinary person, free of crushing responsibilities, in a beautiful place, only to see destruction rise up and be utterly helpless on every level to deal with it.

I hadn't thought about it that way, but you're right, I've set Faramir up for some major counseling needs!  Someone else can take that and run with it, I've exhausted the posibilities for this one.

What is it about Aragorn that bothers you?

Mostly it's that, for a ficlet that was supposed to be focused on Aragorn, Faramir seemed to take over and push Aragorn to the side.  I'm comfortable with how Aragorn acts and reacts, it's just that I wasn't allowed to see much of his reactions.  As for the lack of distance in Elessar's manner with his Steward, this was intended as a break-the-ice-between-Faramir-and-Aragorn story, to provide a good base for a solid freindship.  In that case, the main challenge was breaking through Faramir's self-imposed distance.  When it became a heal-Faramir fic, then Aragorn's familiarity is the kind of thing I would expect from a healer to a patient.

Don't know if that helps explain stuff, but that's the best I could arrive at.

Mar'isu

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

*blanches at the sheer number of presents* I am overwhelmed by all of your wonderfull pieces.

Challenged: Sleepig in a hammock, I have never  done it, but it seems to be a challenge indeed. Sleeping on a sailingship with all the motions is bad enough. Then there is the additional swinging of the hammock. I am not sure if I would fault him should he ecome seasick.

Role Playing: Like father, like son. The raid on the Corsairs seems to have become legedary in Gondor. Sounds to me as if the boys have learnt something new in Gondorian history class and now they want to re-act it. I remember I did the same thing when I was small - not battle-reenactment, though. Very sweet that Steward and King ake the time to play with the children.  

 I have been enjoying reading all of them, especially, as another Aragorn fancier, G.A.'s presents.

I cannot disagree with you there, Gwynnyd. Hm, I think our two bithday-girls have set our Aragorn-muses free. hehe

The angsty slash A/H story was well written; with a sense of two men whose love must always be hidden and and rarely expressed.  Poor Aragorn; at least Halbarad has a family...

Thank you, Raksha, it seems as if I have read one book too many. I wrestled with that for days since I was unsure how a man like Aragorn would deal with the feelings and situation he finds himself in, especially since I am in the man's head.

 If someone wants to critique it - which would be very helpful, you can do that in my forum.

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Happy Birthday, Linda Hoyland!

Thank you so much Edorasslass. That is just delightful. I had a lovely birthday weekend, thank you,including a concert, a trip to the coast and visiting friends.

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

Fell Memories

Ooooh, that was absolutely frightening, Gwynnyd! And so intense.
Would that be Aragorn's adventure after he left Gondor in the direction of Mordor and before he meets Arwen in Lothlórien?

Imhiriel

 

 

Re: September 2006 Birthdays, Take Two

I liked your Fit For A King piece, with Aragorn, Faramir and Eomer admiring the mearh - and a nice recognition of Faramir's skill with horse in that the stallion responds to him and comes over to great the men.

Thank you, Raksha. Yes, I thought about that line "...masters both men and beasts", and thought he would know that towards a mearh, he would be on a more equal footing.

Imhiriel

 

 

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